Moonlight: “Hello Stranger”
Another musical moment, and one where the entire axis of the movie seems to shift. In the final section of director Barry Jenkins’s three-act exploration of young black male sexuality, Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) has come to a diner to visit Kevin (Andre Holland) – whom he shared a tender, intimate moment with years earlier, an encounter of vulnerability that he’s since done his best to bury. But then, out of the blue, Kevin calls, and tells him that a song on the jukebox made him think of his old friend. After a meal and some awkward small talk, Kevin finally gets around to putting the record on the jukebox: Barbara Lewis’s “Hello Stranger.” And with each poignant lyric (“Shoo-bop, shoo-bop, my baby ohhh / It seems like a mighty long time”) the moment becomes more loaded, and the longing becomes more clear. Jenkins lets the song play, holding on these faces of these two men as they hear the song, regard each other, and consider what happens next.